What We Feed Our Dogs
WHAT WE FEED OUR DOGS:
In June 2002, Susane made the decision to stop feeding commercial dog food and switched all four dogs to a home-prepared diet. This diet is mainly raw meaty bones (RMBs), ground meats along with some cooked grains, fresh, pulped veggies and some fruit.
Susane has to admit to being scared when she first made the switch and Chuck was basically convinced that the dogs would all meet with death. Susane spent over a year studying and talking with others who have fed this way before making the switch.
After a 24-hour fast, the dogs were ready to try it. The sound of them all crunching on their chicken backs and the way they ate (especially Duce who had been a very poor eater who regularly refused his dog food) proved the choice right. We never experienced any problems with the switch – no sloppy stools, no upset stomachs – and no pierced intestines! RAW chicken bones cause no trouble; it’s when cooked that they’re dangerous, as they become brittle and splinter into very sharp pieces that can cause severe damage.
The dogs have now enjoyed their BARF for over 8 years – even their veterinarian has had to admit that the dogs’ mouths are fantastic. Yep, CLEAN teeth and gums are two of the most obvious benefits to the RMBs, since there are very few carbohydrates in the diet, the teeth stay clean and the gums healthy.
Another HUGE plus: No more “green clouds.” The dogs all used to have gas all the time – a very annoying (to say the least!) aspect of having five dogs in a closed car or laying around the living room. Not to say that they don’t occasionally get gas, but now it’s rare rather than constant.
The next big test was when we bred Ginn. She stayed on the raw diet throughout the breeding, pregnancy, and raising her litter. Her whelping was easy, the pups very strong and healthy. Ginn was a superb mom who continued to nurse her pups until they were almost 11 weeks old. We allowed her to wean the pups when she decided she and them were ready.
The puppies were all weaned onto raw so now we have six dogs eating this way. It’s not cheap, and it is a LOT of work, but it’s worth it. We know exactly what they eat and that’s a source of comfort.
Toss was also kept on raw throughout her pregnancy and whelping and rearing. Just like her mom Ginn, she allowed her pups to nurse until they were over 10 weeks old although by then the pups were of course eating their own raw food.
If you’re interested in learning more about the BARF diet – the internet has a wealth of information and there are lots of good books on the subject.
Here are a couple of places to get started: